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PHL inflation still manageable — ECoP

A wide variety of fish at the Marikina Public Market. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ WALTER BOLLOZOS

THE 6.9% inflation rate in September remains “manageable” and is expected to normalize, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) said on Thursday.

Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., ECoP president, said on the BusinessWorld Live program on One News Channel that he considers 8% the threshold for manageable inflation.

The Philippine Statistics Authority reported on Wednesday a preliminary inflation estimate of 6.9% in September, against 6.3% in August, and 4.2% from a year earlier. Inflation in September was the highest since the 7.2% posted in February 2009, at the height of the global financial crisis.

“Some time ago, we commissioned studies regarding inflation… It turned out that even inflation as high as 8% is very manageable. The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has enough weapons in its arsenal to be able to temper this,” Mr. Ortiz-Luis said.

“So long as it (inflation) does not run away that much, I think it is very manageable. Eventually, after these temporary problems like Ukraine-Russia conflict (which) affects fuel and even imports of prime commodities… I think (inflation) will normalize eventually,” he added.

The BSP said in a statement on Wednesday that inflation remains within its forecast range of 6.6% to 7.4%.

Mr. Ortiz-Luis added that the dollar’s strength is affecting importers the most.

“Who are suffering from a weak peso? The importers, some of which are also exporters like the garments and electronics sector,” he added.

The peso closed at P58.653 against the dollar on Thursday, little changed from its P58.65 finish on Wednesday, according to the Bankers Association of the Philippines.

The peso’s recent low was recorded on Oct. 3, when it closed at P59 against the dollar. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

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